Innovation SL Ltd is an Entrepreneur Support Organisation (ESO). Innovation SL was established in March 2017.
We believe entrepreneur support organisations (ESOs) are the key to unlocking pipeline and catalyzing early stage investment across the continent.; the entrepreneur support sector is critical to the future of sustainable economies in Africa “ Village Capital Unlocking Pipeline
From our establishment in 2017 our focus has been on developing value creating and high growth entrepreneurs as opposed to rent seeking entrepreneurs. Further, we have sought to deviate from the standard approach to nurturing innovators- through innovation competitions that focus on the top 3 winners out of 50 submissions. These top three will get cash prizes with little and sometimes no follow up.
The evidence is clear; this approach has not delivered on systemic entrepreneurship and certainly not delivered on enough entrepreneurship success compared to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal for example.
We believe that for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to play the crucial role in creating jobs and growing the Sierra Leonean economy, we need to develop value creating and high growth entrepreneurs. For this to happen, the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem must be in place and enabled.
This is why our approach has been based on developing components of the ecosystem; and enabling other parts of the ecosystem that is suited to nurturing value creating and high growth potential startups and scale ups.
In 2019 we began our incubation and acceleration program. The program is located at Kingtom which is a space we have under a separate company- Innovations Axis. One of the shareholders and a Director is Walid Bahsson. Walid is a leader in the building the circular economy ecosystem.
At the end of 2019, we have 12 start ups under incubation in various stages of the development. Already one of our start-ups under incubation, has generated revenues of 90 million leones. In 2020, this same start-up will generate a further 350million leones.
Five of our start ups are at the validation start phase and this process will continue for another six months in 2020. Validation remains one of the most part of our incubation program, where the focus is on an MVP that is going to address a tier 1 problem for a particular customer segment.
In 2019 our start-ups were made up as follows:
- 50% students (each of these start-ups had at least two women as co-founders)
- 40% women founders
- 20 % non-students
- The age group range from 22 years to 35 years old.
The Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) are the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. InnoSL is committed to the SDGs in general and these in particular:
- Goal 2: Zero Hunger
- Goal 4: Quality Education
- Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
We believe that the private sector has a role to play in meeting these goals. As an Entrepreneur Support Organisation, we will focus our incubation and acceleration programs on entrepreneurs that are developing solutions to meet these goals
An entrepreneurial ecosystem where Sierra Leone’s largest companies, academic institutions, MDAs & international partners interact with entrepreneurs, individuals, graduates & alumni of entrepreneurial organisations, providing a strong source of ‘cultural & intellectual capital’ – fueled by highly-networked & experienced mentoring & capital, supported by our incubator & accelerator.
Our Strategic Focus & Goals